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Vision Divine - When All The Heroes Are Dead

Vision Divine
When All The Heroes Are Dead
by Gary Hernandez at 10 November 2019, 9:38 AM

Italy’s Power Metal icons, VISION DIVINE, released their first album over 20 years ago in 1998.  On October 25, 2019 they issued their eighth studio LP, “When All The Heroes Are Dead.” The album comprises 12 tracks, including a short intro as well as a digipack bonus. I’m fairly new to VISION DIVINE, so I can’t say if this is a comeback album or another strong album in a long history of exceptional albums. A little research revealed multiple lineup changes over the years, which is no surprise for a band with such longevity. People have also noted the band seems to be returning to their musical roots. Again, new band for me so no comment here except to say that there’s nothing wrong with finding your center after exploring the edges. Overall, “When All The Heroes Are Dead” is a good album. I know that comes across as a lukewarm and non-committal assessment, but it is what it is. The album didn’t blow my mind, but I also didn’t tear my headphones off in disgust. There are things about it that annoyed me like the drums and synthesizers on “While the Sun is Turning Black” that sound like they came out of bad 80’s movie; but there are also things that I loved like the riffs on “The King of the Sky.” So let’s take a step back and take if from the top . . .

First, six members. Wow, that’s a lot of ways to cut a royalty check, but everyone seems necessary if no one does double duty. Not a criticism, I’m just pointing out the choices. Second, theme. I’ve been listening to a lot of Black Metal and Doom lately, so the lighter subject matter, meant in all senses of that word, was a needed break for me. The songs are inspirational and, as requisite for all Power Metal, carry an epic air. Third, the music. The enthusiastic keyboard flourishes, layered symphonic melodies, and riffs with softened edges give the compositions an uplifting vibe, a little denuded of aggression but still strong. Ivan Giannini’s vocals are clean and earnest — certainly a first rate front man. Fourth, production. With a band that’s been around this long, you expect them to know what good sounds like and to insist on the best. And that’s what you get production-wise on this album. Every instrument can be distinguished clearly and separately, giving the album a rich, lush texture.

And, of course, the songs themselves. Highlights are “The 26th Machine,” “3 Men Walk on the Moon,” “Now All the Heroes Are Dead,” and, my personal favorite, “The King of the Sky.” The bonus track, “Angel of Revenge,” is also excellent. Regrets? I’ll throw “300” under the bus, and “The Nihil Propaganda” to keep it company.  The frantic talkover in the latter was too much for me, regardless of the language. Also the crooning at the end didn’t make it any better. Overall, “When All The Heroes Are Dead” is a strong album. This is a band with a lot of history and, by the looks of it, a very large following. You don’t get that by producing inferior music. For fans of Power Metal, I definitely recommend this album.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 6
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Insurgent (Intro)
2. The 26th Machine
3. 3 Men Walk On The Moon
4. Fall From Grace
5. Were I God
6. Now That All The Heroes Are Dead
7. While The Sun Is Turning Black
8. The King Of The Sky
9. On The Ides Of March
10. 300
11. The Nihil Propaganda
12. Angel Of Revenge (Digipack Bonus)
Lineup:
Olaf Thörsen – Guitars
Andrea "Tower" Torricini – Bass
Federico Puleri – Guitars
Alessio Lucatti  – Keyboards
Mike Terrana – Drums
Ivan Giannini – Vocals 
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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